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One Good Turn (2006)

by Kate Atkinson

Series: Jackson Brodie (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8681952,193 (3.76)443
It is summer, it is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.
  1. 90
    Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (teelgee)
  2. 80
    When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (2810michael)
  3. 32
    The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (2810michael)
  4. 00
    Mainlander by Will Smith (charl08)
    charl08: Both novels have a strong sense of place as they describe crimes that are not straightforward, and involve complex characters, challenging 'crime' genre.
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» See also 443 mentions

English (186)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (196)
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
I don't know if I liked this book or was appalled by it. A little bit of both.

This was a confusing mishmash of characters and the book takes forever to get going.

Jackson and Julia are toxic as anything. There's a scene we get via Jackson and we learn about him and Julia and I just wanted to scream and drop the book right there. Also I don't even know what to say about Jackson. Or we supposed to feel sorry for him due to his sister or brother? Cause he sucks a lot I realized. And he really didn't investigate much in this one, just had remarkable coincidences happening.

Louise (inspector) was more interesting than Jackson and her interest in him didn't even seem believable.

Good lord, Martin. I just....I am going to need to sit and think on him a bit.

Gloria is also as terrible as her husband Graham I have to say. I just think it's hilarious she doesn't realize it. Or maybe she does when you get to that ending.

The writing was eh and the flow was so bad that I started to just want something to happen. And then there's just plot holes left unaddressed by the end of this book.

I needed a yarn wall at the 60 percent mark because seeing how everything and everyone was linked was a lot and I started to think the whole thing was just ridiculous after a while. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I have read two other Jackson Brodie novels and enjoyed both, so was familiar with Kate Atkinson's style of slowly building up seemingly separate character studies only to weave all the threads together in the end. This second instalment has been queued on my Kindle for a while, but I was thinking, 'I'll wait until I need a dependably good book to get me out of a reading slump first' - a slight miscalculation! Slow character-based fiction is one thing, but this was almost like Talking Heads with a murder tacked on to give the detective something to do! Talk about drawn out - I was almost ecstatic when a body finally washed up at Jackson's feet (and he does seem to walk into a lot of vaguely connected dangerous situations in this book).

Boxes within boxes, dolls within dolls, worlds within worlds. Everything was connected. Everything in the whole world.

An incident of road rage outside a comedy venue at the Edinburgh Fringe, witnessed by a timid crime writer who intervenes and finds himself taking care of an assassin. A frustrated housewife, whose husband had a heart attack in the middle of a bondage session at a hotel, revelling in her newfound freedom. A young female police inspector trying to manage her teenage son and his creepy new friend. Eastern European women working for a 'cleaning service' called Favours. Eventually they all tie together, through Jackson Brodie's interference mostly, but they take most of the book to get there. I liked Gloria, the wife, and Louise the detective, but started skimming through Martin's fantasies.

And my biggest problem - I've decided I really don't like Brodie. He spends most of the story obsessing over Julia, his actress girlfriend from the first book, thinking about how well he knows her and thinks he loves her. She's annoying in and of herself, but I could have lived without his pathetic mooning. Also. he admits to basically raping her at one point, so I was glad when the 'relationship' finally crumbled. Go back to your mansion in France, Brodie, and leave the policewoman alone.

Requires a deep breath and a rebel yell to get into the story, but the characters are involving, if not always sympathetic, as per usual. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jun 28, 2020 |
This was one long-winded mystery. I liked the characters, some of them were so amusing but the constant meanderings drove me nuts. Jackson Brodie's character was still likable but some of his actions made no sense and for a former police detective/PI, he seemed quite clueless about what was happening in his own life. As for the mystery, it seemed the author was so into fleshing out her characters, she didn't spend as much time making the mystery more detailed and understandable. I did enjoy it because of the characters, some of their amusing actions and ideas, and how well written it was but the plot itself was kind of meh. ( )
  twinkley | Jun 2, 2020 |
As I settled into Book 2 of the Jackson Brodie saga, I was prepared for the switches in perspective and chapters that weren't continuous (or is that 'contiguous'?) in terms of action. This format doesn't work well, or ~ not for me. As suspense and excitement builds in the chapter, the momentum is lost when the next chapter picks up some other thread in the story. The deflated tension is never recreated to an effective degree, so I feel like the entire novel is like climbing a hill, seeing over the top and that there's yet another hill and it is a boooorrring, long hike.

OK. So why are there even 3-stars? Because the overall theme was very clever, the characters were individually brought to life and I was really rooting for Gloria. I thoroughly enjoyed Tatania. I despised the weak-waffling in which Jackson indulged, although that behaviour suited Martin to a tee. And the ending? Yeah, totally sewed it all together and I laughed my head off when Paul reappeared.
The final chapter made the slog almost worth it. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | May 24, 2020 |
Good fun. Laced with wink-wink coincidence, and the mandatory beating-to-unconsciousness of Jackson Brodie, nicely tied up, entertaining characters. I've realised that this series of novels really needs to be read in order, because Brodie's implausibly exciting life is too much to jump into halfway through. ( )
  adzebill | Apr 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 186 (next | show all)
Provocative, entertaining and beautifully written. It’s not quite the tour de force that her Case Histories (2004) was, but this latest affords the happy sight of seeing Atkinson stretch out into speculative territory again.
added by davidcla | editKirkus Reviews (Apr 2, 2013)
 
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Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Male parta, male dilabuntun
(Wat oneervol is verkregen, wordt oneervol verkwist.)
Cicero, Philippicae, 11, 27
Dedication
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor Debbie, Glynis, Judith, Lynn, Penny, Sheila en Tessa.
Voor hoe we waren en voor hoe we zijn
First words
He was lost. He wasn't used to being lost.
Quotations
Every day was a gift, she told herself, that was why it was called the present.
He knew he would have to do something proactive, he was not a person to whom things simply happened. His life had been lived in some kind of neutral gear, he had never broken a limb, never been stung by a bee, never been close to love or death. He had never strived for greatness, and his reward had been a small life.
The matronly cashmere seemed to confirm something that Gloria had suspected for some time, that she had gone straight from youth to old age and had somehow managed to omit the good bit in between.
They always had a chocolate log on Christmas Day. Gloria made a roulade mix, no flour, only eggs and sugar but heavy with expensive chocolate, and when it was cooked she rolled it up with whipped cream and chestnut puree and decorated it with chocolate butter cream, scored and marked to look like wood, and then sprinkled it with icing-sugar snow. Finally she cut ivy from the garden, frosted it with egg white and sugar and then twined it round the log.
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It is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.

With Case Histories, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In One Good Turn she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last. Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson what each one actually discovers is their true self.
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